LeLc update + musings…

The LeLc (Living Energy Learning Center) is progressing nicely and a bit ahead of schedule.  I’ve been fortunate to have several helpers lately and WinSol in general is really improving.  We have out marque entrance posts now (pics later?) and as soon as we get a dry spell we’ll be putting up the first layer of roof covering on the geodome.  The ‘space’ inside the 36′ dome is amazing.  I DO remember that from 40+ years ago when I had a small dome in Trinity County.  There’s something magical about spherical spaces as opposed to our normal square rooms.  Like I told an architect friend once ‘nature doesn’t design anything square’ .

I can’t wait

  • to get the grand piano in there and return to my pianist musings
  • to start the experiental lessons – some are assembling already
  • to give the green light for advertising and lecturing about the LeLc
  • build bridges to the mainstream

Stay tuned

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I enjoy watching weather on commercial TV.  I never hear about violence, war, etc… the only big downsides are the commercials… But it is ‘observation’ in its purest forms.

The latest weather trend seems to be trying to predict the coming ‘el nino’  with infrared Pacific ocean pic comparisons between 1997 and 2015 – we should be in for one heck of a wet winter – maybe.

Again, June 2015 has been the warmest on record… since 1850 recorded history.  1850!!??  you gotta be kidding me!!  that’s a mere 165 years of record keeping.  Within a climate window of millions of years?  And we are putting all our eggs in this basket of predictions for climate change.  We know nothing.

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Last week a friend invited me to attend an all-day conference on Trans-humanism and Singularity in Oakland.  What a waste of my day.  I always like to attend something weird and different each year – and this fit the bill.  Dr. Brian Haney (UCDavis) one of the world’s foremost authorities on transhumanism, had a great presentation.  Turns out the singularity will not be happening by computers getting smarter than us – but by us adapting technology into our biosystem and brain to transcend our ‘humanism’ – so hopefully we will be in control of all this?  Somehow I am skeptical of this view – i still think that something more along the lines of the movie ‘ex-machina’ is awaiting us.

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On a BIG note, I am making a life-changing move in a couple months.  I will be a full-time member of an eco-village in Oregon.  I’ve been serving on their Board of Directors for over 6 months now, and I look forward to actually enjoying community living, rather than getting into the nuts + bolts of helping run it.  maybe!?

 

most difficult ‘green’ decision

Cold food storage has been my sustainability nemesis for over two decades.  It is the most difficult element of self-reliant living. Just ask other people who have really done it for more than 5 years.

I would have been better changing my habits away from our food supply chain and focused on more gardens and having dug a very deep root cellar with a big back hoe before I built (under) WinSol3.

051027_box

So… from trying a small ‘bar’ refrigerator, to ice blocks and snow in deeply insulated coolers, to outsourcing it to the supermarket freezers (yuk!), to thermoelectric cooler… to finally a ‘real’ freezer (albeit a small one), I now have to change my whole food storage routine!

But help is on the way.  A couple helpers (from helpx) who are spending weeks in WinSol’s learning center, were going through ice bottles in less than one day.  There had to be a better way.

So we went into the root cellar, dug down another three feet and buried a cooler in the hole.  This hole was special:  It was surrounded by poured concrete (thermal mass) and polystyrene insulation.  Then the double 2″ styrofoam on top, inside AND outside the cooler, sealed the deal.  (pun intended).  The frozen water bottles should now last 5-8 days and even more once the root cellar is completed.

The Learning Center root cellar is about 3 feet underground located under the main geodesic dome.  It is also the source of the fine clay that will be used for the dome’s 1200sqft. earthen floor.

root-cellar-2-preppers101blog

Food Storage Basics

Between your grandmother’s canning + fermentation, drying food (solar dehydrator – another upcoming blog) is probably the best way to store food.  But there are so many ‘niceties’ in our mainstream food supply that need cold storage:  eggs, cheese, condiments (majo++),  And then if you’re an omnivore you’ll need to store fish, meats, sausages, etc.

cold_storage chart_002

From working on a project in Indonesia, I do remember cheese needs to be stored at 41F or less.  I can achieve that with a combination of earthen tubes, thermal mass + troop (clay-in-clay) pots.  When WinSol3’s root cellar is completed, insulated and sealed off – it will have a maximum temp of around 45F and the cheese will be inside the troop pots along with eggs, etc.

Kitchen makeover

I think with global weirding (aka climate change), our constant drought cycles, higher morning temps and changing eating habits – that it is LONG OVERDUE to do a complete MAKEOVER of the kitchen and dining habits of westerners.  Heck, even the venerable NYTimes just featured an article on this…  click here…

Everything is connected – it’s a system.  Starting with keeping healthy by eating good and ‘life is too short for lousy food and drink’ (thanks Engelbert!) we need to re-examine it all.  From the farm to our mouths.

My personal best practice on this makeover is in conjunction with my newfound ‘lazy’ everything approach.  How about lazy eating…having food drop right into your mouth… see the next blog (under construction)…

 

Eco-Modernist Manifesto overview

This one caught my attention, I consider it a dangerous step by the ‘Neo-Greens’.   It may establish another breakthrough moment like the seminal paper  ‘Death of environmentalism’ considered by some to be as important as Rachel Carson’s  ‘Silent Spring’.   But this one is asking us to decouple ourselves from nature.  And that if we don’t,  we will end up destroying nature.   Really?

 

 

It’s ‘An Eco-modernist Manifesto’  from the Breakthrough Insitute’s It’s got an impressive list of authors, including Stewart Brand.  The free pdf can be downloaded at at this site.

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Here are some excerpts summarizing this 32page  paper:
“…we affirm one long-standing environmental ideal, that humanity must shrink its impacts on the environment to make more room for nature, while we reject another, that human societies must harmonize with nature to avoid economic and ecological collapse.

Intensifying many human activities — particularly farming, energy extraction, forestry, and settlement — so that they use less land and interfere less with the natural world is the key to decoupling human development from environmental impacts.

Natural systems will not, as a general rule, be protected or enhanced by the expansion of humankind’s dependence upon them for sustenance and well-being. A good Anthropocene (age of the humans) demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.

Despite frequent assertions starting in the 1970s of fundamental “limits to growth,” there is still remarkably little evidence that human population and economic expansion will outstrip the capacity to grow food or procure critical material resources in the foreseeable future.

There remain, however, serious long-term environmental threats to human well-being, such as anthropogenic climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and ocean acidification.

In fact, early human populations with much less advanced technologies had far larger individual land footprints than societies have today.

Extensive human transformations of the environment continued throughout the Holocene period: as much as three- quarters of all deforestation globally occurred before the Industrial Revolution.

Urbanization, agricultural intensification, nuclear power, aquaculture, and desalination are all processes with a demonstrated potential to reduce human demands on the environment, allowing more room for non-human species. Suburbanization, low-yield farming, and many forms of renewable energy production, in contrast, generally require more land and resources and leave less room for nature.
Whether it’s a local indigenous community or a foreign corporation that benefits, it is the continued dependence of humans on natural environments that is the problem for the conservation of nature. Absent profound technological change there is no credible path to meaningful climate mitigation.

Along with decoupling humankind’s material needs from nature, establishing an enduring commitment to preserve wilderness, biodiversity, and a mosaic of beautiful landscapes will require a deeper emotional connection to them…”

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Fred’s counter position to this eco-manifesto:
In their opening statement: ‘Humans are made from the Earth, and the Earth is remade by human hands’, the authors conveniently leave out the word ‘nature’. What is earth if it is not nature? This is a false dichotomy.
But there’s a statement on page 18: “Humans should seek to liberate the environment from the economy…”  this gives me pause!  Are they right?   Instead of putting an economic price on the environment’s resources, we should totally decouple from it.  I agree! Putting a higher price on carbon or any other resource is going to create unintended consequences, and only be good for Wall Street (as Europe has proved).  Decoupling ourselves from nature would leave it alone.  But can we do this?  Is decoupling ourselves from the environment a good thing? My right brain/heart + gut say ‘no’,  my left brain says ‘yes’.

One of the base premises is ‘decoupling .  Separating ourselves from nature. They say we are part of nature, yet they say we need to decouple ourselves from it…   sounds almost like a GMO thing: stopping all seed germination is a good thing for capitalism… Monsanto should hire these guys as their PR wizards.

One of the BIG issues in our footprints on earth are the chemical toxics  we are unleashing – but the manifesto makes no mention of it!!?  They say we need to isolate ourselves and be SEPARATE from nature??  what?? So, we humans are BETTER than nature?  We don’t even understand nature… we don’t know even simple things in nature:  like how a tree works… this is counter to many, many wise people, elders, shamans, mystics over the centuries.

These are the ‘neo-greens’ that say we need to invest in MORE TECHNOLOGY to make things better.  It’s an all-in-one bet – with human life on this planet at stake.  Most of the authors are all scientists.  Enough already!  Their premise is not intuitive – there’s something deeply wrong here.  I wonder what Wendell Berry and others would say to this.

Like the climate skeptics, they are cherry-picking their data + points.  example : ‘While the total amount of nitrogen pollution is rising, the amount used per unit of production has declined significantly in developed nations.’  How about putting methane or water vapor up there.

To me, the whole idea of ‘giving up on our immersion within nature’ and ‘decoupling’ ourselves is unrealistic and nonsensical. We ARE nature, we came from it and we exist because of it. I think we are signing our own death spiral warrant when we engage this way. It’s sort of geo-engineering – let’s call it ‘anthropocene- engineering’

I hope this is not a seminal paper as ‘Death of Environmentalism’   

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An interesting counter position from the de-growth people (Richard Heinberg, Paul Krugman, etc) can be found at:

this link

http://www.resilience.org/articles/General/2015/05_May/A-Degrowth-Response-to-An-Ecomodernist-Manifesto.pdf

Building Bridges

…to a good, regenerative global community that sustains our home.

… to an infrastructure based on living energies, with everyday uses.

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… to 99% of the mainstream that rises above  ‘sustainability noise ‘

…. to those who control 99% of the wealth

…to the 20% of industrial farming conglomerates

… that impact 99% of the earth’s eco-footprint

…who dictate 99% of public policy

new blog… about

Welcome to the Blog within RCD (Regenerative Community Development).  For those of you who are ‘switching’, a note from our Operations Director (Fred Klammt) :

Thanks for all your kind words over the past decade (especially my CSUS Green Business students).  I will be transferring a few of the blogs from my previous blog  site   http://fredecoblog.blogspot.com/ You may have noticed there were no postings in the last few months.

This ‘new’ blog will encompass ALL  these topics:

– updating Living Energy Learning Center + WinSol progress,

– Practical, everyday regenerative + lo-cost projects + demos

– Community microgrids + global progress + utilities’ reactions

– Community development + leading issues in living together.

– Real (positive) Renewable Energy, Sustainability, green chemistry issues

I’d like to get conversations + dialogue started – maybe through a forum or chat room – TBD – stay tuned.  If at any time, I am not keeping with the main theme, or losing my ‘edge’, I would like people to nudge me – social media feedback (yikes! -:)

Initially this blog will be private, but soon it will become public.   I will be using social media to drive traffic here

All of this website + blog  content will be covered by a creative commons copyright – open source sharing, giving credit where credit is due.

With that in mind, I’ll be following Paul Wheaton’s excellent permies business model – except it will be more science and mainstream focused, without the opinionated twists.

 

 

Creative Commons License
LeLc: Living Energy Learning Center + RCD: Regenerative Community Development by Fred Klammt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.rcd33.wordpress.com.

Ecovillage + Sieben linden

On my 4th visit to Sieben Linden in Germany, I noticed some changes in the air.  There were the same (or a bit less) people there, and several of the ‘veterans’ seemed to be fading into the background or moving on.  But overall there was still the peacefulness, compassion, love + kindness and JOY pervading all over.

imageThis is the new addition to the main hall/lodge.  It has a small retail store downstairs and a beautiful new dining room that seats over 100 on the second floor with an outdoor heating area.

This fourth visit was very different from my previous ones, since I was now actively involved in Lost Valley on the West Coast of the USA.  I am also more familiar with the inside details of legal + finance issues of communities.  And most importantly, I was founding a new company focusing on community development (RCD).

On this visit, I had some personal instruction on sociocracy and how its governance is different from consensus and other processes.   The double linked communication links present a new alternative to one-way communication and connections between people all trying to reach a common consensus.  Time will tell.

WinSol LeLc update

The Living Energy Learning Center geodesic dome is in its final year of construction.   About 40% of the dome us covered,  4 planters are in place around the perimeter to guide the first wave of green roof vines.
As soon as 80% is covered and blue skies prevail,  the winter floor coverings will be removed and then get ready for an earthen floor embedded with 60% ceramic tile.

Creative Commons License
LeLc: Living Energy Learning Center + RCD: Regenerative Community Development by Fred Klammt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.rcd33.wordpress.com.

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to the launching of my new blog on REGENERATION

This blog + subject matter is a natural evolution of my previous blogs and my life’s path. It is based on two personal beliefs:

(1) I believe that sustainability has become just another marketing campaign to sell us more (albeit ‘green’) stuff.  We can do better – hence ‘regeneration’.

(2) I also believe that community is what we need – all of us.  We need to connect with our fellow travelers (we are all from the same stardust) within a new form of community.

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On this blog I will post current issues that are beyond the standard ‘eco-blog’ (my previous blog google link:  http://fredecoblog.blogspot.com/  ) that filled my life for the past 10+ years. You may have noticed there was no posting in the last few months.

This blog will be based on critical thinking + include:

– updates on WinSol and its Living Energy Learning Center

– Practical, everyday regenerative + lo-cost projects + demos

– Community microgrids,   local + global progress,  utilities’ death spiral

– Community development + leading issues in living together

–  Energy  permaculture,  green chemistry issues

 

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Creative Commons License
LeLc: Living Energy Learning Center + RCD: Regenerative Community Development by Fred Klammt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.rcd33.wordpress.com.